Authorities officers, public well being professionals and anxious dad and mom are coming to collectively to push by a invoice that may ban a well-liked kids’s sensory toy — water beads — which have been linked with youngster harm and demise.
In a information convention Monday, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey introduced that he will likely be introducing a invoice — the Ban Water Beads Act — on the Home of Representatives geared toward instating a nationwide ban on the toy marketed to youngsters.
“They’re particularly marketed to youngsters. In a single small package deal you possibly can have 25, 50, and even 75,000 of those beads, and it simply takes one to trigger hurt to a baby,” mentioned Pallone. “They don’t seem to be labeled as harmful to babies, there’s no warning, they usually’re not laborious to get.”
The invoice — set to be launched this week — is the quickest solution to defend kids towards the potential risks of water beads, in accordance with Client Studies and the CPSC, which has issued public warnings about water beads and recalled a number of merchandise together with a water bear package bought at Goal.
The CPSC introduced a number of remembers of water bead kits from numerous producers as a consequence of ingestion hazards. Most not too long ago, the Fee and firm Buffalo Video games recalled about 52,000 Chuckle & Roar Final Water Beads Exercise Kits in September. Buffalo Video games had acquired stories of 1 10-month-old child who died and one other 9-month-old child who wanted surgical procedure after swallowing the beads.
Nonetheless, one singular package being recalled is simply the tip of the iceberg.
“Walmart, Amazon and Goal, all promote these items in numerous types,” Pallone mentioned. “We did a latest search on Amazon and we acquired 3,000 outcomes, so it is very widespread. No warnings are going to be sufficient, they need to be banned.”
Water beads are tiny balls made out of extraordinarily absorbent polymer materials. When the small balls are uncovered to liquid, they will broaden to 100 occasions their preliminary measurement and weight, in accordance with the Client Product Security Fee.
These beads are sometimes bought as kids’s toys to assist with motor expertise and are typically used as filler in sensory bins.
“They’re being marketed as crafts, as a tactile toy for kids with autism, even ammunition for toy weapons,” CPSC Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric mentioned on the information convention. “It’s far too simple for beads to be misplaced, dropped, and a short while later a child or small youngster finally ends up discovering them, selecting them up and ingesting them.”
If ingested, water beads can develop contained in the physique, posting immense well being dangers to younger kids, say consultants. In a security alert in September, the CPSC reported that these beads “could cause extreme discomfort, vomiting, dehydration, intestinal blockages and life-threatening accidents” and should require surgical procedure to take away.
Expanded water beads have been discovered within the stomachs, intestines, ears, noses and even lungs of infants and toddlers, Client Studies mentioned in a latest report. CPSC estimates there have been 4,500 visits to hospital emergency rooms as a consequence of water beads since 2017.
The Client Product Security Fee estimates that there have been 7,800 emergency room visits between 2016 and 2022 on account of kids ingesting water beads.